The mass murderer* who attacked a Charleston, SC Church was able to get his firearm due to data entry errors at the local level, and was able to retain it because of bad communications between the FBI and ATF that let him possess the handgun for 62 days before the attack.
Despite these facts, gun prohibitionists in the Democrat Party and Michael Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action have been attempting to blame “flaws” in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for the shooting, and have been attempting to bully major retailers in to violating federal law.
So far, the retailers have stood strong in defense of their customers Second Amendment rights:
The nation’s top outfitters and gun retailers have rejected an unusual Democratic request to ignore current gun background check rules and institute their own system that anti-gun advocates believe would slow sales.
Already required to run background checks on gun buyers, over a dozen Democratic senators have asked giants Cabela’s, Gander Mountain, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Bass Pro Shops to block sales to customers whose checks aren’t finished in the required three days.
According to the National Rifle Association, the firms have so far rejected the request.
Under current FBI rules, the buyers are allowed to get their weapon after the third day, although the check for disqualifying information through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System will continue for a total of 90 days. It’s a small number, however, since 91 percent of the background checks are completed instantly, surpassing the attorney general’s own goal.
Bloomberg’s shrill minions and their small number of allies in Congress know that their “indefinite hold” advocacy will have little to no effect on criminal behavior. Actual criminals don’t buy guns through dealers, but on the black market or through straw purchases, a fact that has been heavily documented. NICS delays are generally for partial data hits, such as having a similar name or address to a prohibited person.
How often do criminals slip through the cracks? Almost never.
The anti-gunners know more than they are telling, however. First, according to the FBI, if a background check cannot be completed within three days, “the NICS Section continues to search for the information necessary to make a final determination” and, if a person is determined to be prohibited, NICS will notify the BATFE to recover any firearms such person may have acquired. The FBI reports that in 2014, “The NICS Section forwarded 2,511 firearm retrieval referrals to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,” something on the order of about 0.1 percent of all firearms sold by dealers that year.
The moment someone does slip through the system—just 2,500 times a year—the ATF has procedures in place to hunt down the purchaser and retrieve the firearm, which they typically do within days.
If these Democrats and Bloomberg’s allies wanted to reduce the chances of someone slipping through the NICS system instead of just impeding a system that works to harass gun owners, they’d support one of several bills that have been submitted in the U.S. House and Senate that would strengthen NICS, remove the absurdity of “gun free zones” where more than 93-percent of mass attacks take place, and approve national reciprocity, so that people who can legally concealed carry will be there to help protect themselves and those around them.
As has been proven time and time again, most bad guys don’t acquire their weapons through legal means, and the only thing that stops them in the act of committing a crime is a good guy with a gun.
Unfortunately, not all of us can afford a phalanx of high-paid personal armed bodyguards and armored vehicles, Mr. Bloomberg.